Knee Replacement Failure - Need total reconstruction

Posted by babette @babette, Sat, Jul 27 10:35am

I'm pretty devastated, everyone. I had my R TKR a year ago and always knew something wasn't right. My initial surgeon said everything looked great and to give it time, PT, etc. Well I went to one of the top ortho hospitals in the country yesterday and saw a surgeon who comes very highly recommended. He told me my femur is out of alignment, there is a problem with a ligament, and my knee cap is off to one side. I wish I had written down more specifics, dh was with me but once we heard this would all have to be redone, I think we went into kind of shock and didn't process the details very well. **He understood completely why I've been in so much pain this past year. ** He referred me to a colleague who does more complex revisions than he does and I feel great about that but have to wait a month to see him and begin the process. All over again. I have no idea what this will be like, the actual surgery, recovery, etc.

I'd love to hear from others who have gone through this. Also, has anyone successfully sued the surgeon who screwed up? I'm furious to have lost a year of my life to this and now even more time to the repair and recovery.

@merpreb

@contentandwell – You could try to get a referral from one of your MGH doctors!

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@merpreb Thanks, but I checked out the MGH website and there were only two that seemed to fit my needs, and if I do go to Boston I have decided which I would use. It’s feeling a little bit better than it did yesterday so at this point I am doing nothing.

I decided that if I do make another appointment I will go to this guy in Manchester, Dr. Parisien. If it came down to needing surgery I would go to Boston for a second opinion and if that doctor concurred I would have it done there. For now I will just hope it will heal on it’s own.
JK

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@contentandwell

@jeffkirc There are quite a few doctors who use the Conformis knee. If you google Conformis there will be a link to which doctors do it. Since I go to Boston for most of my medical care (I live about 55 miles north in NH), it was an easy choice to use Dr. Fitz since he is one of the developers of the knee. They do scan your knee. I know it is more costly than other knees but it was paid for in full. I really love Dr. Fitz too, he is very caring and diligent, just not “warm and fuzzy”.

Yep, I have a “minimally displaced fracture of the greater trochanter, L femur”, and yes, it really is very painful. I had been so excited and looking forward to my son’s wedding in CO in a few weeks but this has really put a damper on it. I am not looking forward to the flight at all. 🙁

I’m working on not feeling sorry for myself, there are so many worse problems I could have, but it’s interference with a very special week does have me down.
JK

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Have fun at the wedding.Good luck with your pain management. I know they don’t like to prescribe much other than Motrin.
Dr Fitz has a great reputation unfortunately he doesn’t take my insurance. I think I will google “conformis knee” and find the list of MD’s that fo it.

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How does someone really find an excellent surgeon when you have commercial insurance? Sure, there are ways like calling top PT clinics and asking if any particular surgeon has better results than most, but then, you have to check to see if they're in your network. There are websites like Vitals and Health grades but most people comment on office staff, waiting time, and the surgeon's bedside manner. Not the surgery itself. So how do you find the best surgeon? I am 6 months PO and getting a second opinion next week because I am still in agony. I feel something is wrong, my surgeon said my X-rays look great and referred me to pain management Grrrrrr

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The bad news is that no ortho surgeon I know of will see you until you are 1 year post op. I live near Boston – best medical care anywhere – and they all had this policy. I've also had terrible pain for a year, and only had it validated by a great surgeon who I researched to death. The good news is you have time to research. I don't now where you live, but I'd find the closest teaching hospital or ortho-only hospital and start there. Your idea about consulting PTs is also excellent, get a list of name then log on to your insurance company and see if they are in-network.

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@babette Actually, I am being seen by a new OS next week for a new pair of eyes to look at my knee. My current OS works in a teaching hospital so I thought he might be great. Good luck to you and should you get the revision, just think, you will probably feel so much better.

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@dkapustin

How does someone really find an excellent surgeon when you have commercial insurance? Sure, there are ways like calling top PT clinics and asking if any particular surgeon has better results than most, but then, you have to check to see if they're in your network. There are websites like Vitals and Health grades but most people comment on office staff, waiting time, and the surgeon's bedside manner. Not the surgery itself. So how do you find the best surgeon? I am 6 months PO and getting a second opinion next week because I am still in agony. I feel something is wrong, my surgeon said my X-rays look great and referred me to pain management Grrrrrr

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@dkapustin, I think I had an excellent surgeon for my TKR. He also did my Delta Reverse shoulder. It did take about 1 year to be able to get up in the morning and walk across the bedroom without noticing that I had an artificial joint.

When I visited him because of the pain, he took Xrays and then showed them to me and told me that the surgery looked very good. With a gentle hug, he said, "I am so sorry Chris, "it is the facia."

He was absolutely correct. I didn't even know what the word facia meant. He was very helpful. After three years of Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR), I was finally able to start walking again. Not the 5-8 mile walks…the 1-mile walk. Just two weeks ago, I had another "flare". Yesterday, I started to see some daylight. So I don't know if it was something I said that the darn fascia didn't like or ???????. Be free of suffering today….Chris

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@artscaping

@dkapustin, I think I had an excellent surgeon for my TKR. He also did my Delta Reverse shoulder. It did take about 1 year to be able to get up in the morning and walk across the bedroom without noticing that I had an artificial joint.

When I visited him because of the pain, he took Xrays and then showed them to me and told me that the surgery looked very good. With a gentle hug, he said, "I am so sorry Chris, "it is the facia."

He was absolutely correct. I didn't even know what the word facia meant. He was very helpful. After three years of Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR), I was finally able to start walking again. Not the 5-8 mile walks…the 1-mile walk. Just two weeks ago, I had another "flare". Yesterday, I started to see some daylight. So I don't know if it was something I said that the darn fascia didn't like or ???????. Be free of suffering today….Chris

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@artscaping That is interesting and something I might look into. I"m sorry you didn't sail through the surgery like so many others but I guess it just wasn't in our cards. The good news is though that you found out what the problem was and can work towards healing. My surgeon has never showed me the X-rays he takes, nothing. Just says "everything looks fine" and that's it. He may be right but I am just going to get a second pair of eyes to take a look. It can't hurt. I just want to know why I am in excruciating pain 6 months PO. Some pain is expected but honestly, I'm miserable. If it's just part of the healing process, I'll feel like an idiot but be more hopeful at there being light at the end of the darn tunnel. I hope you are feeling better!

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@mwatts91757

Have fun at the wedding.Good luck with your pain management. I know they don’t like to prescribe much other than Motrin.
Dr Fitz has a great reputation unfortunately he doesn’t take my insurance. I think I will google “conformis knee” and find the list of MD’s that fo it.

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Thanks, @mwatts91757
You are right, these days they are very hesitant to prescribe much. I am post-transplant (liver) and the only OTC pain reliever I am allowed to take is Tylenol, which is not much help.
I am surprised that Dr. Fitz will not take your insurance since he is part of Brigham and Women's. Usually those large hospitals take pretty much every insurance I thought. I am sure you will find a good surgeon who uses the Conformis too.

@dkapustin I am really glad that you are getting another opinion. It can't hurt and it may be very helpful and enlightening. I hope the new surgeon will be able to shed some light on what the problem is.

@artscaping That's great that you are moving forward and doing better. What a huge relief that must be for you.
JK

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Thanks, I have read stories where people insisted that they knew something was off even early in their recovery but like me, had to wait at least 6 months before getting a second opinion. Many people claim that a doctor will not see you until you are 1 year PO but I found that simply not true. At least in the Tampa Bay area. Any surgeon will see you because they are in the office that day to see clients and it only benefits them to take an xray and consult with a new patient. I am also going to need my other knee done one day so I am also a potential future surgery client as well. LOL So sadly, it REALLY is about money in the medical industry. 🙂 I appreciate the support and I realize that I just may be a having a hard recovery and I hope that is all that it is. We shall see.

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I'm curious in how the insurance companies treat reimbursements for second and possibly third opinions….??

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@jeffkirc

I'm curious in how the insurance companies treat reimbursements for second and possibly third opinions….??

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@jeffkirc My husband and I have never had a problem with second opinions not being covered, and have even had third opinions!
JK

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Good to know; thanks!!

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